Parliament began fulfilling a judicial role in England in the period after the 12th century. The Commons (such as it was) was taken out of this role in 1399. With regular parliaments and an increasingly sophisticated judiciary, the house of lords gradually created special committees to handle what was now an appellate role. This was the state of affairs when the USA created its Supreme Court in 1789. In 1875, a provision was made for special lifetime appointments to the House of Lords for the sole pupose of being a judge. These were the first life peerages and created what were known as the "Law Lords." The Law Lords were increasingly professionalized. Now in the 21st century, the UK has finally done what its colonies were capable of in the 18th century: create a real independent supreme court. Hard not to be a bit snarky. This was authorized by parliament in 2005. It took its seat yesterday and began to hear cases. You can see at www.supremecourt.gov.uk. This is a parallel to www.supremecourt.us.gov . The new Supreme Court of the United Kingdom does not apparently have the right to declare acts of parliament to be unconstitutional. Well, there's still no written constitution, so what can you do?